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Crash Barrier Project

Crash Barrier Project 2016

Crash Barrier Lab Instructions (pdf or google doc) and data Sheet (pdf or google doc)

Build Day: Monday April 25th
est Day: Tuesday April 26th
Project due: Wednesday April 27th

Crash Barrier 2016 Video

Purpose: To build a model of a crash barrier that will lower the impact force felt by a car.


You will have access to a set number of 8.5”x11” pieces of scrap paper. You may use only hot glue to connect your pieces. You are not allowed to use hot glue in excess for it is not a “structural material.” The glue should only be used at contact points between the paper and deductions will be made if it is used elsewhere.

Crash Barrier Drawing:

With your group draw out your ideas for how to create your crash barrier in your notebook. Be sure to label all the pieces and clearly draw it so you will have a guide when you go to make it.

Build your crash barrier carefully following your design. Remember that taking care in constructing your design will improve performance. Once your crash test barrier is built record its measurements in your data table.

Testing Procedure: All crash barriers will be tested the same way by the teacher. The same cart will be rolled down an incline from the same height for all groups. Your crash barrier will be between the cart and a wall. Your crash barrier must be free standing and not attached to the wall or to the surface.

 The effectiveness of your crash barrier will be measured two ways:

(1)   Using an accelerometer on the cart we will determine the acceleration that the cart felt. With this information and the mass of the cart you will calculate the force that it felt.

(2)   Measuring the compression of your crash barrier.

Other information like time of impact may be collected. You may also make observations of the car’s impact with your crash barrier and the before and after measurements of your crash barrier.

Crash barrier test set-up